The second day of rowing at Rio 2016 has been postponed due to the wind whipping across the Lagoa.
Murmurs of frustration from the #Rio2016 #rowing crowd as the Lagoa screens confirm 'All races cancelled for today' pic.twitter.com/K1m1y0k8Rz
— Simon Peach (@SimonPeach) August 7, 2016
The Olympic regatta got off to a testing start on Saturday, with athletes leaving the water complaining about being made to race in windy conditions.
Great Britain’s Katherine Grainger called it the worst Olympic rowing conditions she had faced. And THIS is how windy it actually is out there on the second day – there’s a lot of water in that rowing boat after being out on the lake.
If you're wondering how windy it is,check out how much water #teamgb men's 4 empties out of their boat! #Rio2016 pic.twitter.com/xMq8Dx2irX
— Mark Hunter (@MarkHunterGB) August 7, 2016
People who know a thing or two about rowing had shared their concerns that the weather was going to cause problems, in a day when Helen Glover and Heather Stanning were meant to be competing in the heats of the women’s coxless pair.
Wind forecast for Rio not looking nice at all – could be full day delay for rowing if this is accurate. pic.twitter.com/irYpLSFjRu
— Matthew Pinsent (@matthewcpinsent) August 7, 2016
Let's Go! Conditions are dreadful, cross wind and waves; anything could happen. Battle on @teamGB @Helenglovergb pic.twitter.com/FSypwEWamW
— Steve Backshall (@SteveBackshall) August 7, 2016
An initial hour delay to the start was pinned on the weather creating issues with the Albano buoy system, which marks the race course.
Olympic rowing course looking worse for wear because of the wind. pic.twitter.com/JK1m8WZg5g
— Tim Gavel (@TimGavel) August 7, 2016
Racing was subsequently put back a further hour, before it emanated at 10:17am local time – 13 minutes before the new scheduled start – that the competition was postponed due to the weather.
“All races cancelled for today” read the big screen at the Lagoa, but that sign was taken down before most spectators had seen it.
Uh oh. #rowing #Rio2016 pic.twitter.com/bYQpXhdlGf
— Mark Chapman (@markchapman) August 7, 2016
Many rowers are said to be miffed at the decision to call off racing so early, but Sir Steve Redgrave, gold medallist at five Olympics, highlighted athlete safety is paramount.
“The Olympic Games isn’t chosen on its rowing course,” he told the BBC. “It would very unlikely that Fisa – rowing’s governing body – would have chosen this.
“We have to make do in some ways. That’s the situation for our showpiece event every four years.
“But outdoor sports are affected by the weather – we have to deal with it. And safety comes first. Fairness comes after that. It’s unrowable.
“In Athens in 1896, the whole rowing programme was cancelled. But that would be a disaster.”
Well done to @WorldRowing for postponing racing today. It's disruptive but the right call for the athletes.
— Mahe Drysdale (@MaheDrysdale) August 7, 2016
And after what happened to Serbia on Saturday (ICYMI, they capsized) it’s perhaps the most sensible decision.
And the gold medal for the first rowing team to capsize goes to Serbia 🙂
— Sydny-Lauren (@SydnyLauren) August 6, 2016